Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Grosvenor House Hotel
Bookings: 04 399 8888
What with Bord Eau and now Indego I seem to have entered the realm of a dyslexic restaurant naming convention but fortunately the mistakes seem to stop there.
Indego is in the Grosvenor House hotel in Dubai Marina and is a very up market, very trendy Indian restaurant. Vineet Bhatia, the world's only Indian michelin star winner, is listed as a consultant chef to this restaurant.
After you negotiate the circular ramp you enter a room of candles floating in bowls of rose petal strewn water, silver Indian artefacts and rosewood filigree panels that cleverly partition off the restaurant into smaller cosier sections.
The waiters are all very smartly dressed and you are presented immediately upon seating with cold towels to wipe off the dust from your journey. The menu lists all the standard fares; samosas, tandooi items, tikka masala, rogan josh, kormas etc.
A plate of very crispy poppadums arrived with three chutneys that even my friend Alexander would, I am sure, approve of!
Whilst deliberating with the wine list a waiter wheeled over a trolley with a big selection of their wines on display. Now this is the first time I have ever seen this and I think that it is quite a good idea, if a little pretentious. However, my initial approval was very quickly dispersed when the waiter tried a very hard sell on me for a bottle of Cloudy Bay at a mere Dhs 900 a go. Now don’t get me wrong Cloudy Bay is a very good wine but I remember drinking it 15 years ago when it hadn’t gained the popularity that it has now and was sold in restaurants for 10% of what it generally does now, and there is no way on God’s earth that I would ever pay Dhs 900 for a bottle of the stuff. When I told the waiter that I had absolutely no intention of paying anything like that for a bottle of wine and that I didn’t need his help in making my choice he seemed rather put out! This little episode really left a sour taste in the mouth which was a great shame for the rest of the evening was really very enjoyable. If anyone from Indego, or from the Grosvenor House reads this I urge you to put a stop to this shameful and disgraceful habit immediately.
We started off with a battered hammour, salmon tandoori and what was described as a medley of samosas. There were four of us dining and as usual for Dubai three pieces each of the hammour, salmon and three samosas arrived. This really does piss me off and when we questioned the waiter why they could not have just added a fourth to the plate he just smiled, shrugged and walked away. Oh well.
The hammour was a disappointment but where the hammour let us down the salmon lifted us back up, it was sublime. The samosas were tiny and I have no idea where the idea of a ‘medley’ came from but they were crispy, flavoursome and good.
We didn’t stray far from convention and our main courses were chicken korma, chicken masala, lamb rogan josh, lamb biryani and dal makhani. The portions were quite small, though just big enough for four of us to have a couple of small pieces each. They were, however, all very tasty indeed. From a personal perspective I would have liked a little more ‘heat’ in them but that is just me. The lamb biryani had a little too strong liquorice flavour for my liking but the others at the table didn’t find it so.
I was impressed with our evening, apart from the nonsense with the wine, and I would quite happily recommend Indego. The service was very efficient, professional and polite, the food very good and the room itself is lovely with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
In a town where you can eat vast quantities of superb Indian food at very cheap prices it does seem an extraordinary crime to be spending a King’s ransom on a bowl of rogan josh, but pushing your guilt to one side this really is a fabulous place to eat.